Breaking Through Concrete

I am so honored and humbled to share the ballot with the many visionary and bold women who have raised their hand to run for public office. I know for a fact that none of us ran to make history, we ran to make change. However, the historical significance of this election is not lost on me. The significance of history is not lost on me, including my personal one.

In this historic electoral cycle, I am reminded of my mother, my shero. The woman who gave me my roots and my wings. My mother, Sandy Pressley, was a super voter. She voted in every election and no matter how small we felt at times in community and society at large my mother made sure that I knew that when we walked into that voting booth, and we pulled that curtain, we were powerful.

In Massachusetts and across the country, we are standing in our power. The same power my mother told me we had, the same power that compelled me to raise my hand and to not ask permission to lead.

When a woman of color talks about running for higher office or public office at all, folks don’t just talk about a glass ceiling, yes we face many of the same trials that our sisters and women of all colors face when answering the call to serve. But the well-intended conversations that occur when a woman of color seeks public office take on a texture all their own. Is your appeal broad enough? Are you playing identity politics? Can you really inspire millennials and the faith-based community? Can a Congresswoman wear her hair in braids, rock a black leather jacket, and a bold red lip?

When it comes to women of color candidates, folks don’t just talk about a glass ceiling, what they describe is a concrete one.

But you know what breaks through concrete?

Seismic shifts.

Drastic change.

When those tectonic plates of revolution shift below our feet. When our communities demand and these times require bold vision and activist leadership. Stronger than any one person or any institution, it builds up from the ground beneath our feet and this groundswell, this shift can break through concrete.

With the women who I have the honor of sharing this ballot with, we broke that concrete wide open.

Now know this, we made history this year. But we are not just making history for the sake of making it. We are not just defeating hate out of necessity. What we are issuing here and now is a mandate for hope.

This is just the beginning. We don’t have to wait our turn, we don’t have to wait for change. In this moment, we pick up the mantle we continue to work, working to restore your hope, to restore your trust, to redeem your relationship with government. Change is on the way.

Congratulations to my fellow #reSISTERS who, amidst a sobering climate, answered the call to run for public office and WIN. I cannot wait to build with you, to disrupt with you, to lead with you.

Cindy Axne @Axne4Congress
Angela Craig @AngieCraigMN
Sharice Davids @sharicedavids
Madeleine Dean @mad4pa
Susan Ellis Wild @wildforcongress
Veronica Escobar @vgescobar
Abby Finkenauer @Abby4Iowa
Sylvia R. Garcia @SenatorSylvia
Debra A. Haaland @Deb4CongressNM
Jahana Hayes @JahanaHayesCT
Kendra Horn @HornForCongress
Chrissy Houlahan @HoulahanForPa
Ann L. Kirkpatrick @Ann_Kirkpatrick
Susie Lee @SusieLeeNV
Elaine G. Luria @ElaineLuriaVA
Lucy McBath @LucyWins2018
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @DebbieforFL
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @Ocasio2018
Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN
Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher @Lizzie4Congress
Mary Gay Scanlon @marygayscanlon
Donna Shalala @DonnaShalala
Kim Schrier @DrKimSchrier
Mikie Sherrill @MikieSherrill
Elissa Slotkin @ElissaSlotkin 
Xochitl Torres Small @XochforCongress
Abigail D. Spanberger @SpanbergerVA07
Haley Stevens @HaleyLive
Rashida Tlaib @RashidaTlaib
Lori Trahan @LoriUSCongress
Lauren A. Underwood @LUnderwood630
Jennifer Wexton @JenniferWexton